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Thread: Having a linux session as two different users

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Having a linux session as two different users

    In response to popular request I will explain what I am trying to accomplish.

    I am working with configuring (and re-configuring) several Linux boxes, most of which are to run headless. So I have setup a Linux box where I can plug/unplug HDDs, copy partitions, edit configs, etc. all as root. I can search for a file, then right-click and do something with it (like edit it, for instance) as root.

    My XP box is where I have done embedded systems design and development, and was also my personal computer for Email, Web browsing, watching video, doing teleconferencing, etc. I want to virtually eliminate XP (and all of Windows), and do everything on a single box without having to log in/out or switch users all the time. Many of my tools, as well as my schematic capture, and PCB layout run only under Windows, so I will dedicate a box just to that.

    We're taliking here about my main, everyday computer. When an Email arrives for user "bill", I want root to hear the notification, while the Emailer and browser run as user bill. So I want to start my PC, and have it run a login script for user "bill" which will, as root, switch to desktop 4, and start a terminal with four tabs, one of which will be a local session, the other three will have ssh sessions to headless boxes. In that local tab, I want to spawn a file manager, and one or two additional GUI programs, running with root priviledges. And I want that tab to return immediately to a root bash prompt, without waiting for the spawned programs to close.

    Thanks for reading this wordy post. And thanks for trying to help me.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Ubuntu Mate 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Having a linux session as two different users

    In Ubuntu, a regular user in the sudo group can be granted root permissions to run admin tasks that require elevated privileges. There is not need to open root sessions as you describe, because if Bill is in the sudo group, you can run your own tasks as user Bill and gain root permissions with sudo whenever needed.
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